RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- University of Virginia Rector Helen Dragas has survived her first hurdle at the General Assembly.

A Senate committee voted 12-3 Tuesday to confirm her reappointment. Leading the opposition was Democratic Sen. Janet Howell of Fairfax, who said she has received more than 200 emails opposing her reappointment.

Dragas' reappointment now goes to the Senate floor.

Her reappointment was opposed by some after the Board of Visitors' failed attempt to fire President Teresa Sullivan last summer. Dragas led the ouster attempt, which sparked protests by faculty, students and alumni. It also prompted an accrediting agency to put the university on warning.

Former Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, appointed Dragas in 2008. Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell reappointed her after Sullivan was reinstated.